Day 6: Chucky the Freaky Circus Clown

  • Pain: 3/10
  • Inconvenience: 9/10 (I can *almost* use a straw now!)

Welcome to the freakiest “smile” ever.

I didn’t fall asleep until 4:30 this morning. That was a bad move because I don’t want to become sick on top of this cannot-feel-my-face condition. It felt like my mouth was trying to break out of my face. It wasn’t painful, it was just uncomfortable. Drugs, drugs, drugs, some are good, some are bad… but right now, they’re all good. All of them.

By the way, in case you didn’t think I was a drug-addict before (which I wasn’t), here is my daily routine of meds right now:

  1. Novamoxin: Anti-biotic to prevent infection since I can’t clean my mouth — 10 mL 4x/day
  2. Dimetapp: Decongestant (since I can’t blow my nose) — 5 mL 2x/day
  3. Ibuprofen: Kills the swelling (had to get the kid’s version because I need it in liquid form) — 30 mL 4x/day
  4. Codeine: Painkiller — 10 mL 4x/day
  5. Perichlor: To rinse my mouth out — 5 mL 2x/day
  6. Ipratropium: Nasal spray (again, since I can’t blow my nose) — 2 sprays/nostril 2x/day

Speaking of chubby faces, I can feel both of my cheeks again! Now I’m only numb in the narrow strip of my face reaching from the bottom of my eyes down to the bottom of my chin. However, to compliment this decrease in swelling, my face has started bruising. But I’m a guy, so this just makes me look tough.

It looks like my weight loss is beginning to peak. I’ve officially lost 21 pounds now–10.8% of my bodyweight. At this rate, I’ll be 0 lbs by about May 10th. I think that’s abnormally high though, because I was attempting to put weight on just before I went in for surgery. I’m naturally 175 lbs–I went into surgery at 194 lbs–and now I’m sitting at 173 lbs.

My brother and little nephew stopped by yesterday afternoon to say hi. We chatted for about 5 minutes or so. The poor little boy couldn’t understand a word I was saying and he was really confused as to why my mouth wasn’t moving but I was still able to make sounds. Then boredom evidently set in: “Okay, can we go now? I want to go to the hockey game.” Career as a ventriloquist? I just think I might.

And guess what! I can smile now! You can see my beautiful, flashy grin in today’s mugshot. I think I look like a freaky, circus clown–I’d even be scared if I saw that in the middle of the night!

Well, apparently it’s 13 ΒΊC today, so I’m going to go outside. Dad and I are going to head downtown to pick my car up since I’m finally up for driving. I hope this goes well. I can see the headlines already:

“Man crashes into all-you-can-eat buffet while steering with his knees and using both hands in an attempt to drink from a syringe during his drive down Whyte Ave. Irony prevails.”

A big thank you to my friend who kindly forgot I was incapacitated and invited me out partying last night. I really do appreciate all these reminders that I can’t do jack squat right now.


(Mmmmm, Cheerios…)


  1. Hi Christine,

    Brushing your teeth will be difficult until the swelling subsides a bit. You won’t be able to brush effectively at this point, so just give it your best effort. I gargled salt water to help maintain a clean mouth.

    Not being able to maintain perfect oral hygiene is frustrating, but it’s all part of the process, unfortunately. You’ll have fresh breath again soon, though!

  2. Hi Luis,

    My feeling began to return around the two-week mark, so you’ve got at least a week of that joyous lack of feeling left. Your feeling won’t completely return for a few months. Good luck!

  3. Hey, currently on day 6 and I had a question about brushing your teeth. I was finally given the okay to brush my teeth yesterday and given the removable bands (whoohoooo) anyway I tried brushing my teeth to best ability and I still feel like they aren’t clean enough. How far back were you able to get in your teeth while brushing? What did you use to help you clean your teeth? Am I setting the expectation too high to have clean teeth, like will I just have to do the best I can and just scrub forever in 5 weeks when I’m all healed? Thanks:)

  4. Hello Graham, I recently came across your website and thought it was amazing. Great details on everything… Im on day 6 of double jaw surgery, and hand to say swelling has gone down and lips back to normal. I just can’t stand this numbness feeling, when did you start to feeling your face again?

  5. I had my first post-op checkup yesterday, and I asked about the syringe. He said that it’s just not practical to become reliant on it because you can’t take it around with you and things like that. He did say that I could continue to use it if I wanted to (but I didn’t take it home from the hospital since he told me not to).

    Oh well, every day I’m getting a little better at eating from a cup.

  6. I wonder why your surgeon advised against using the syringe. I think I may have starved without that blessed tool (despite loathing it so much). It was a love-hate relationship.

    You’ll be able to drink much thicker liquid in about a week’s time, so soups will be no problem by then. I think the syringe would serve you well until that point, though.

  7. Thanks so much for creating this blog, the posts and the comments from others have been so immensely helpful to me. I love seeing how many others have gone through this.

    I’m on day 6 and feeling ok, but having so much difficulty eating. The surgeon did not want me to use the plastic syringe after coming home from the hospital, and I didn’t question why. So I drink from a cup, but anything thicker than water gives me a bit of trouble. Especially since I am breathing through my mouth; my nose is still too stuffy and I’m still not supposed to blow it. So when I try to drink anything thick, it clogs the small spaces between my teeth and I can hardly breathe at all! This sucks something awful πŸ™ I need to go to the store tonight, and I’m seriously considering cheating, and finding anything fitting for squirting the food to the back of my mouth. I miss that syringe!!

  8. Hi Lamiaa,

    The pain is your mouth is a difficult problem to remedy at this stage due to the fact that you’re not allowed to brush just yet. The only thing action I can recommend is gurgling water around your mouth as often as possible and drinking cold liquids to sooth the soreness. This pain will go away as soon as you can start brushing again.

    To give yourself some calories, I suggest you find soups that you can drink at this point. I survived for the first few weeks by eating tomato soup through a syringe. The added salt will taste really good after not having any for a while as well.

    Best of luck and just try to make it for one more week. Life will get a lot better after that. =)

  9. hi, am Lamiaa am from Egypt. I am on my day 6 post op. actually your blog was so helpfull and inspiring since months before my surgery.
    now my problem is mainly the pain of tissues inside my mouth I cant even swallow and i think this is all about aint be able to clean my mouth the right way..can u plz help as my sergeon didnt allow me to use any brushes yet..
    my other problem is about food..i depend on fruit juice at this stage but i feel so weak and the food suppliment are not available where i live can anyone plz help me with blended food recipes of their experience.

    thank you very much

  10. Ahhh… how can you taunt me with the thought of food right now?!
    But, without the splint, I am eating some soft foods already.
    Thanks again!

  11. WHAT?! You didn’t have a splint put in? You’re a lucky lady!

    The inconvenience of recovery was definitely worth it in the long run. I’ve done enough smiling in the past year to make up for a lifetime of missing out on it. It also gave me a new appreciation for food. Oh the joys of eating (and smelling) food…

  12. Oh my goodness! I feel so fortunate right now!
    I’m so lucky not to have any rubber bands or a splint, so I brush my tongue at least ten times a day. And my breath still isn’t great! My swelling is still pretty substantial, but I had my wisdom teeth out as well so I’m not really worried about it.
    Anyway, thank you so much for putting the effort into daily posts. I’m keeping my own blog and I understand now just how much you don’t want to put any effort into anything while on medication.

    So, in the end, were some weeks of suffering
    definitely worth it in the long run?

  13. oooooohh that sweet day πŸ˜‰

  14. My teeth were held together with tightly wrapped elastic bands, so I was still unable to open my mouth for 2-3 weeks.

    Just wait until you can brush, floss and rinse again. It will be a good day!

  15. yeah actully it hurts .specially where the stiches are .but I couldnt help :))it seemed that they didnt wire your theeth together right? they did wire them for me .and they said that it would be opened in 4 weeks {3 weeks left:(}

  16. Haha, glad you can relate, Sam! Isn’t laughing super painful right now, though?

  17. Hi Graham
    I am on my day 6 after surgery. I keep on laughing reading your website because all of these stupid thing are happening to me exactly (specially the circus freak).thank u for sharing

  18. ah medication…im on liquid sudafed, liquid painkillers (equivolent of vicodin, not amazing), liquid antibiotics plus 2 nasal sprays. im pretty congested unfortunately, and we’re planning on getting the kids liquid motrin because my swelling is making drinking hard.

  19. Hi Rica,

    I thought the drugs they prescribed for me were a little bit of an overkill, but I just followed the doctor’s orders.

    Glad to hear the first few days are over! You’ll be feeling a lot more human after the first couple of weeks pass by.

    Start planning your first real meal–it’s going to be great!

  20. Hi, Graham! I’m on Day 6 right now. πŸ™‚ Your blog is keeping me optimistic about the looooong journey ahead. I’m glad however, to be done with the first 3 days, which I still think are THE worst!

    That’s a lot of drugs you take! I actually only take the Novamoxin and Ibuprofen (sometimes). I have Ibuprofen in capsule form, so I kind of stay away from it. I also have Dimetapp, but luckily, I’m not too, too congested.

    Thanks for sharing this blog to the rest of us, it provides a much needed consolation.

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